Getting Noticed: Simple Steps

Like many Claremont students, I recently downloaded Yik Yak, an app that encourages students to give others an anonymous glimpse into their thoughts through 200-character posts. While many posts
express the stress with which the typical college student deals or discuss the extracurricular
activities in which we partake, some users have attempted to meet others through the anonymous Twitter-like forum.

The beckon of the horny college student is immediately evident upon opening the app. With posts ranging from
“Freshmen tryna fuck?” to “I just want to go down on someone right now,” quite
a few of us are using Yik Yak as a creative, minimal-effort means to seek out sexual gratification.

While a couple of the posts seem to
have been successful, I doubt that the execution of real-life hook-ups is a
common outcome. In its essence, Yik Yak provides no way to determine the identity of either the poster or anyone
who responds.

Some have tried working around this
roadblock by posting their username from
another social media account, through which they can be personally contacted.

Even with this information, though, we are reading a cry of sexual frustration more
often than not. Half-hearted
shout-outs are made without much hope or intention of fulfillment, regardless
of how much the poster may actually desire the tryst. Who’s to say that such information is even valid? It’s impossible to distinguish between genuine information and jokes. 

Never fear: Such posts of desperation were not written completely in vain. From the multitude
of users yearning for anonymous sexual encounters, we can observe a lack of opportunities to make connections in
everyday life on the part of a surprising number of students.

While this is a possibility, especially
considering how busy many of us are, I believe the issue likely lies in the fact that students feel unable to take advantage of opportunities when they present
themselves.

This could be a result of the
culture on campus and the sexual script that it largely conveys. This script
has indicated to us that the normative times and places of sexual expression
are after dark while drunk at a party.

Drunk hook-ups may be fulfilling for some, but
what about those who want to fit in a hook-up between
classes? It can be a bit harder to put oneself out there without the help of a little liquid
confidence.

This is especially true because the
person you approach will also have a few more inhibitions than when they are in
party mode. This self-consciousness can manifest itself in an intangible barrier, often requiring a bit of extra effort. For instance, you and
your crush may want to simply talk for a little longer than if
you were in a different environment.

With this in mind, it may be easier
to flirt with someone if there has been an indication of reciprocated
attraction. Since we are constantly surrounded by good-looking, intelligent
people, it’s beneficial to take some small steps to appear more noticeable. 

No, I’m not talking about a makeover. The people who frequently stand out
in our minds are those who display a friendly, confident and respectful
demeanor toward us. There are a few very simple things you can do to express these
traits to your love interest. 

A very important part of getting
noticed involves eye contact. A connected gaze shows a person that we are
acknowledging them and maybe even thinking about them.

Next time you make eye contact with
someone you’re attracted to, resist the urge to blush and look away! Hold it for a second or two longer than you
normally would. If you pair this with a smile, you’ll stand out from the
moments of incidental eye contact we make with people multiple times a day.

Smiling can help even when someone isn’t necessarily looking straight at you. A genuine smile actually affects our thoughts and
demeanor, so that when you two are finally talking, you come across as more
positive and self-assured.

Don’t underestimate the importance
of body language, either. Something as simple as crossing your arms or legs will give
the impression that you’re closed off or uninviting. Sitting up straighter will also increase your crush’s confidence in you, having the same opening effect as uncrossing your
limbs.

Similarly, try
gesturing with an open palm rather than a pointed finger to express a
bit of vulnerability and feel more friendly.

Speak audibly and assuredly while
holding your head high. This will increase both your confidence in yourself and others’ confidence in you.

Another factor is keeping some of us
from getting noticed and has become increasingly relevant in the past couple
of years. It has nothing to do with our looks: It’s our obsession with the smartphone. When our heads are down, staring at the
screen, we don’t appear very approachable.

For some students, the moment
there’s a bit of free time, their phones will come out as they check on various
updates or play games. Don’t get me wrong—I’m definitely guilty of this myself, but it’s a huge mistake. If we limited this habit even a little bit, we
could make contact with so many more people than we currently do. 

Maybe one of the people who passed
by the last time you were scrolling through your Twitter feed could have caught your eye. He or she might have even become your next
hook-up or relationship.

If you absolutely need to check
your phone frequently throughout the day, try to do so in a less public place so
that you will appear approachable in spaces where people may be trying to get a
sense of who you are.

When you finally have one-on-one
time to talk to someone you’re interested in, two goals to keep in mind are to
engage them and to actively listen. If you ask them questions and
genuinely care about the answers, you will convey that the things they say are
important to you. Ask them to elaborate on some topics to let them know you’re
interested.

Thoughtful compliments will
encourage that person to associate additional positive feelings with talking to
you, so don’t be afraid to notice them back!

You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take, 

Connie Lingus

‘Connie Lingus’ PZ ’16 is a psychology and sociology major. Her sexual orientation? Queer, kinky and polyamorous. 

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